The United States gambling online industry still currently counts just three states as participants; New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada. Nevada’s next-door neighbor, California, boasts the largest population of any state in the US. That makes it very attractive when you consider potential revenue production if online gambling in the form of poker and/or casino games was legally presented to its residents. And it looked like Golden State web poker was going to become a reality in 2014, but it now appears that 2015 is probably the earliest that California residents will be able to legally play online poker at state-sanctioned California online poker websites.
Currently, New Jersey reigns supreme in the online gambling marketplace. And although Internet poker has trended down ever so slightly recently, while cyber casino has increased in that state, NJ still easily outdoes both Delaware and Nevada combined when it comes to generating online poker revenue. In recent years, the brick-and-mortar casino industry located on the Atlantic City boardwalk saw its numbers slip. This was due to nearby states like Pennsylvania legalizing certain gambling options. That was in part one of the reasons that the Garden State decided to legalize Internet gambling, and funnel the operation through its physical beachfront casinos.
But it appears that Pennsylvania is pushing to once again take a bite out of New Jersey online gambling revenue. The benefit of watching the Internet gambling guinea pigs of New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, for those states which are considering also legalizing web gambling, is that they can see exactly what does and does not work before they launch their own operations. And after last year’s state-ordered state of the union report on its casino industry, Pennsylvania appears more than ready to become the fourth legal Internet gambling state in the US.
That report from 2013, coupled with information provided by third-party industry research firms, leads Pennsylvania lawmakers and gambling executives to believe that $307 million in casino revenue could be generated annually through some type of online gambling operation. In the wake of this information, one state representative in Pennsylvania tried to quickly push through legislation which would financially punish online gamblers in that state. That bill is still awaiting a vote, but early word is that there is very little support behind it. Just as New Jersey did, Pennsylvania could adopt legal Internet gambling legislation as a way to support the failing fortunes of its physical casinos.
The most recent report was delivered by Econsult Solutions. That company’s president, Stephen Mullin, says that $110 million annually in taxes is a very reasonable number Pennsylvania can expect once they legalize online poker, and license firms to deliver the product. And another $110 million a year is estimated to be generated from online sports gambling in that state, as long as current New Jersey and New York litigation against the federal government is successful in repealing the Internet sports gambling ban in the US. If those numbers hold up, Pennsylvania could quickly become the dominant player in both the East Coast, and the overall United States online gambling industries.